Characterize and describe reports of suspected adverse reactions to a group of drugs used in Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Chile, El Salvador, Mexico, and Peru to treat or prevent coronavirus disease (COVID-19) between 1 March and 31 August 2020.
A list of the 13 drugs used to treat or prevent COVID-19 was prepared, based on official and unofficial sources. Drawing on the databases of the national pharmacovigilance programs of the participating countries, reports of suspected adverse reactions to these drugs were collected for the period from 1 March and 31 August 2020.
A total of 3 490 reports of suspected adverse reactions were received from the pharmacovigilance programs of Peru (n = 3 037), Cuba (n = 270), Colombia (n = 108), Chile (n = 72), and El Salvador (n = 3). The drugs with the highest number of reported adverse reactions were azithromycin, ivermectin, and hydroxychloroquine. Diarrhea was the most frequent event (15.0%). Of the total suspected adverse reactions, 11.9% were reported as serious. The most frequent was QT prolongation following use of hydroxychloroquine. Of these suspected serious adverse reactions, 54.5% occurred in people over 65 years of age.
While it is not possible to establish a causal relationship from the evaluation of spontaneous reports, the present study confirms the presence of adverse reactions—some of them serious—involving drugs used to treat or prevent COVID-19.